I’ve done several posts about things I see both good and bad in the Outlander Clandom. I have to assume – since I have zero experience in other fandoms – that these are not isolated issues, but things that are constants because people are people. I’ve also made the comment before that fandoms seem to be a microcosm of the world in general and it has been a very interesting study.
My social media presence has been purposely limited for the last few weeks because I simply got tired of all the election issues. (Also, I tend to inhabit Twitter more than anything else for reference.) What makes me both sad and angry about the election isn’t the candidates (they both SUCK) but how everyday people are treating each other. We all have our histories, experiences and beliefs shaping each decision we make; meaning we will often disagree about topics that are of particular importance to us. Discussing ideas and philosophies to gain a better, broader understanding of any topic is a good thing – but it seems far too often people go at these situations with closed minds and personal attacks.
The same thing is going on within the Outlander fandom. The conclusion I have come to is that the vast majority of the ‘Clandom’ are good people that just want to enjoy the show, discuss it, see what the cast & crew are up to and have a unifying topic to share and have fun with on social media. Unfortunately a few very vocal, nasty, invasive people that tend to attack rather than discuss fill the entire fandom with strife.
I had planned to do a post like this a while back, life got in the way. Here is where it started. I was seeing comments on Twitter and FB about how Season 2 was an ‘epic failure’ and ‘almost everyone’ really didn’t like it. While I had seen some comments about very specific things people were unhappy with, overall I thought the season had gone well and felt that was the overall opinion. So I did a little survey on Twitter. Here is the result:
I was disappointed that so few responded, but I think it’s probably a pretty accurate representation. I would put out the supposition that NO ONE likes every single moment of Outlander-Season 2 (or any other TV show they watch), but overall felt it was great television. I fall into that category.
If there are things you don’t like about the show, this season specifically, a direction….whatever…that is perfectly ok. DISCUSS it. Explain why you don’t like it. LISTEN to why other people DID like to get a different perspective. Verbally attacking/abusing another person for their opinion/thoughts/ideas is just wrong. I get really angry with people that say nasty things about Ron Moore and his direction for the show. He sees it with different eyes from long time book readers – he is not out to ruin a favorite story. Ron is damn good at his job….he makes good TELEVISION. His vision comes from a very different place and it will not match yours, or mine or anyone else’s. If you truly hate what he is doing, stop watching – just like you would with any other show.
Now what got me busy on this post again today (and I admit several things have given me big pause as I’ve been writing making me re-think and further ponder) was this tweet:
So….the fandom lost a supporter, someone that just wanted to enjoy the process without all the drama. That is a sad thing. I took this person’s ID off the tweet so they wouldn’t be hassled about it.
I’m sure there are some (if they even see this because they have me blocked…oh wait…blocking ME doesn’t keep them from seeing what I post, just keeps me from seeing what they post) that will be saying, “But we have the right to express ourselves and fan as we want to! You can’t drive us away!”…..Ok….but that works both ways. Take the shipping war as an example (since all know about it). If you want to ship, fine – but don’t attack people that don’t agree with you or insist that you are better/truer fans than anyone else. Same goes for the non-shippers. No attacking, name calling or running to WS or Sam trying to get people in trouble. I happen to disagree with ‘shipping’ real people that have stated they are NOT a couple; I have laid out my reasoning in at least two previous posts: Why I Hate RL “shipping” and Serious Line: Fan to Fanatic. However, while I don’t like the practice, I don’t attack the people shipping. If someone feels I have actually attacked an individual, please show me and let me know so I can apologize as that is never, ever my intention.
Voting is another area of contention. Some people love to vote on these polls. Some don’t. Some really can’t for a wide variety of reasons. ALL these things are valid. Not voting does not make you less of a fan. Those that vote need to ask politely for votes – and let people decide for themselves. Give fans the information to be able to vote quickly and easily, find fun motivation in memes or comments and let people make up their own damn minds! Would it be easier to win some of these competitions with more fingers working? Sure! Some people don’t like the process or the time it eats up from other things or have computer access issues or many other things and so not voting is a perfectly valid choice and they are still a fan. Everyone has the right to ‘fan’ as they choose – but not cram what they feel is right down anyone else’s throat.
Am I doing that here? I suppose it could be viewed that way. The difference is I’m not brow-beating a specific individual or a few people with it. I’m not personally attacking anyone, calling anyone nasty names, belittling them, or trying to get them in trouble with anyone – I’m stating my position. Like it or not – that is on your head. Discuss your views with me – I’d love that!
My suggestion for people struggling with nastiness in the Outlander fandom is to limit who you follow, be willing to unfollow people that just don’t mesh with you and use the mute option if it really gets to a place you can’t deal with it. Don’t give up something you enjoy because other people need to mature a bit. Speak out if you feel up for that – but against the action/practice not people. Expect to take some hits if you do. Totally up to you how you handle all this.
The one thing I have asked for many, many times in my blogs that I will continue to ask for is this: